Air Malta, pilots' union reach agreement
Air Malta and ALPA, the pilots' union, announced agreement on a new pay deal tonight, after talks which followed a flurry of sharply-worded statements between the two sides over the past days.
The airline said that after long but productive negotiations, agreement was reached early this morning on a new four-year collective agreement commencing 1st January 2012.
Both the CEO of Air Malta, Peter Davies and the President of ALPA, Dominic Azzopardi, commented favourably about the collective agreement and the restructuring phase which Air Malta is currently going through.
The agreement was negotiated within the same parameters as other agreements reached with the other unions and meets the requirements of the restructuring plan, the airline said. It is in line with the financial cost constraints of the company.
The agreement covers new conditions and pay for the pilots leading to greater productivity and efficiencies, Air Malta said. It did not go into specifics.
The Board of Air Malta and the pilot community will now have to approve the agreement in the coming days.
Yesterday afternoon - before the final round of talks - the airline said that the slight increase on overtime ALPA said it was negotiating with the airline translated to 35 per cent.
"Had the requests by ALPA really been what they are claiming, the collective agreement would have been signed weeks ago.
"If ALPA is ready to settle for a three per cent increase in basic salary and a slight increase in weighted units, not the 35 per cent they are asking for, the company invites them to come and finalise discussions about the collective agreement today."
Yesterday, passengers who were due to go to Manchester on an Air Malta flight at 6 p.m. were told at 7.20 p.m. that the flight had been cancelled.
They had originally been told the flight was delayed as attempts were being made to rectify a situation which saw pilots working to rule.
Another flight to Russia was also delayed.
Air Malta said later that it would be operating an extra flight from/to Manchester today (Saturday), leaving Manchester at 8.40 a.m. local time and arriving in Malta at 1.15 p.m.
KM146 will leave Malta at 2 p.m., arriving in Manchester at 4.40 p.m., local time.
The Airline Pilots Association, ALPA, registered a dispute with Air Malta last Friday.
It said that the new collective agreement was two years overdue and certain conditions in the expired agreement were "inadequate in today's circumstances". It ordered pilots to work under the terms of their existing collective agreement after the airline, it said, stopped talks on a new one. It had called for the airline's CEO to resign.